Preyspecies exhibit antipredator behaviours such as alertness, aggression andflight, among others, in response to predators. The nature of this response isvariable,withanimalsreactingmorestronglyinsituationsofincreasedvulner-ability. Our research described here is the first formal study to investigatenight-time antipredator behaviour in any species of elephants, Asian orAfrican. We examined the provocative effects of elephant-triggered tiger andleopard growls while elephants attempted to crop-raid.
For World Elephant Day, this post chronicles a journey from New York to Nairobi and beyond, with a focus on visiting the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and stays in Laikipia and the Mara.
Elephants from the tropical forests of Africa are morphologically distinct from savannah or bush elephants. Dart-biopsy samples from 195 free-ranging African elephants in 21 populations were examined for DNA sequence variation in four nuclear genes (1732 base pairs). Phylogenetic distinctions between African forest elephant and savannah elephant populations corresponded to 58% of the difference in the same genes between elephant genera Loxodonta (African) and Elephas (Asian).